Building Collaboration: The Steps to Make it Real

Collaboration is a buzz word around many global firms who are trying to harness the talents of their worldwide organization.  Before spending a dime on IT or Maturity Assessments, here are some tactical steps to succeed:

    • Create a collaboration office to catalog, prioritize, measure and coordinate the multiple collaboration projects already underway by IT, Communication, Facilities, Innovation, HR, Marketing, and others.
    • Create an overall roadmap with entry points that are quick to deploy and realize benefits quickly.
    • Evaluate and manage risks and costs to drive benefits quickly.
    • Accurately assess business readiness for collaboration across the global enterprise.
    • Develop consistent ROI measures to evaluate competing projects and efficiently allocate resources.
    • Educate stakeholders on how to harness collaboration to benefit the enterprise. Drive buy-in and excitement and identify organizational resistance.
    • Drive out new policies that balance collaboration with security and regulatory goals.
    • Deliver lasting results.
My loyal readers will realize that these are pretty high-level goals when I tend to eschew flowery talk for honest-to-goodness checklists.  But for companies that have many initiatives across the world that label themselves “collaboration” these are the exact steps that need to be taken to deliver value to stockholders.  Companies rarely have an actual collaboration plan.  One that prioritizes the Hierarchy of Needs.
In the words of Alan Lakein, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so we can do something about it now.”  Far too often, even large companies are not planning for the future now.

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